Division B Facilities, Technologies and Data Science

News & Announcements


4 September 2020

Call for input on UV photometric standards
Ultraviolet (UV) astronomy was born in the late 1960’s with the advent of space astronomy. Though UV observatories have been scarce, photometric standards are well defined and are carried over from mission to mission.  This scenario is going to change during the next decade with the advent of widely spread minisat and cubesat technology.  Access to UV data is fundamental in many areas of astrophysical research however, no major UV observatories are included  in the planning of the main space agencies with the only exception of the Spectrum-UV (WSO-UV) observatory from the Russian space science program.  As a result, it is expected that many of small cubesat-type missions will be flown to run well defined experiments, including survey type probes.
In this context, it is necessary to define some common grounds to facilitate comparing and contrasting data from different UV missions.  The charter of the “UV astronomy working group” (UVA WG) for the period 2018-2020 has been to set the grounds for the definition of a UV photometric system suitable to be implemented in small missions and that involves the scientific challenges addressed by using UV astronomical observations.
Division B's Working Group on UV astronomy (UVA WG) has prepared the linked report below including the definition of the proposed standard UV bands.
At this time, the UVA WG is seeking feedback from the general astronomical community, in particular in what concerns the definition of the photometric bands and suggestions for the implementation of the system.  The intent is for the final document to be circulated to the astronomical community as an IAU recommendation.
The UVA Working Group report can be downloaded here.
Feedback and comment should be sent to the Chair of the IAU UVA WG, Ana Gomez de Castro.



19 July 2019

IAU Symposia 2020

Following the annual IAU Executive meeting (EC103) in Rome nine Symposia were selected for 2020 (see https://www.iau.org/news/announcements/detail/ann19032/ )

Of these, Division B is the Coordinating Division for IAUS 362: "Predictive Power of Computational Astrophysics as a Discovery Tool" (France, Jun 8-13, 2020).



11 May 2017

IAU Inter-Commission B2-C1-C2 WG Data Driven Astronomy Education and Public Outreach (DAEPO) was launched

With a new item appearing on the IAU Working Groups webpage, the new approved IAU Inter-Commission B2-C1-C2 WG Data Driven Astronomy Education and Public Outreach (DAEPO) was launched officially.

This inter-commission working group is hosted at the IAU Division B (Facilities, Technologies and Data Science) Commission B2 (Data and Documentation), and organized jointly with Commission C1 (Astronomy Education and Development), Commission C2 (Communicating Astronomy with the Public), Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD), Office for Astronomy Outreach (OAO) and several other non IAU communities, for example International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) Education Interest Group, American Astronomical Society (AAS) Worldwide Telescope Advisory Board, International Planetarium Society, Zooniverse project. The WG consists of 16 founding members, including 9 members and 7 associate members.

With the development of many mega-science astronomical projects, for example CTA, DESI, EUCLID, FAST, GAIA, JWST, LAMOST, LSST, SDSS, SKA, and large scale simulations, astronomy has become a Big Data science. Astronomical data is not only necessary resource for scientific research, but also very valuable resource for education and public outreach (EPO), especially in the era of Internet and Cloud Computing. Maximizing the values of astronomical data in education and public outreach is the mission of the WG. The working group has the major objectives to: 1) Act as a forum to discuss the value of astronomy data in EPO, the advantages and benefits of data driven EPO, and the challenges facing to data driven EPO; 2) Provide guidelines, curriculums, data resources, tools, and e-infrastructure for data driven EPO; 3) Provide best practices of data driven EPO.

More information about the Working Group is available at:


The website will keep updated with latest progresses.



24 February 2017


IAU S339: Southern Horizons in Time-Domain Astronomy

Stellenbosch (near Cape Town), South Africa,  November 13-17, 2017

Symposium Website:  http://iaus339.ast.uct.ac.za/

Studies of variability constitute immensely important sources of information about how objects in the cosmos form and evolve.  Variability can involve times-scales from a millisecond to a century and beyond, and it can embrace the whole electromagnetic spectrum or just one portion of it. New techniques, new technology, new data-mining skills or just more persistence are extending the realms of time-domain astronomy (TDA) and our capacity to capture information in novel and exciting ways, driving theory and inspiring searches for new kinds of phenomena.  S339 will tackle a broad spectrum of topics by seeking commonalities among quite different kinds of objects that display similar types of variability, drawing information and ideas from the many new and up-coming surveys, particularly those in the southern hemisphere, and opening discussions: Is communication adequate?  Are follow-ups optimal?  Are data-mining tools sufficient?  Specific topics will be examined in Workshops which attendees are invited to organize.

Registration will be open shortly.

Limited travel funding from the IAU may be awarded to students and to those from developing countries.  A link on the website explains the eligibility for grants, and includes the application form required and the dates.


Patrick Woudt (S Africa)

Mark Sullivan (UK)

Rob Seaman (USA)

Elizabeth Griffin (Canada)

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